Architecture critic Herbert Muschamp died of lung cancer last night at age 59, the New York Times reports. Muschamp wrote for the Times during a “surge of exuberance” in architecture, and his personal style grabbed readers for more than a decade. Said the Times editor who hired him, “Herbert’s criticism was full of passion—too much for some readers.”
Muschamp's “arch, self-deprecating” style marked Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Bilbao as “the reincarnation of Marilyn Monroe” and Daniel Libeskind’s World Trade Center plan as “a manipulative exercise in visual codes.” He was a critic’s critic, “as interested in the ideas” behind architecture as the buildings themselves. Muschamp, who was gay, also made the scene at Andy Warhol's Factory in the 1960s.